Supporters to rally for marriage equality bill at State Capitol
SPRINGFIELD — With a vote on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage expected Friday, hundreds of marriage equality supporters will rally inside the State
SPRINGFIELD — With a vote on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage expected Friday, hundreds of marriage equality supporters will rally inside the State Capitol under the rotunda to cheer on the legislation — and demand it be called up for vote before session expires tonight.
The rally will be held under the Capitol Rotunda at 11 a.m. and was organized on Facebook as a last minute action Thursday night by marriage equality advocates from the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition. Almost 200 people have indicated they will attend on the Facebook event page.
Equality Illinois offered free bus travel to Springfield from their Chicago offices in Boystown.
Advocates and other observers expected the Illinois House to vote on the bill — its last hurdle before it can be signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn — on Thursday, but the day’s session passed with no action on Senate Bill 10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. And the legislation’s chief sponsor, Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) has indicated without explicitly confirming that he will call the bill up for vote Friday.
The bill needs at least 60 votes before Quinn, a major proponent of the measure, can add his signature — effectively making Illinois the 13th state to approve the full recognition of gay and lesbian nuptials. The law would take effect 30 days after it is signed.
On Thursday, leaders from the Illinois Unites coalition staged a press conference outside the office of Speaker Michael Madigan, demanding Madigan and Harris pass the bill before it is too late.
“A vote has been promised, and now it is time to deliver on that promise,” said Jim Bennett, Midwest regional director of Lambda Legal. “We need marriage equality and we need it now.”